Personal pronouns and possessives
We use personal pronouns (I, me, he, him, etc.) to replace names or nouns when it is clear what they refer to. We use possessives (my, your, her) when it is not necessary to name the person the thing belongs to.
We use personal pronouns to avoid repeating nouns.
Mum's calling. She’s in Turkey.
How’s Daisy? Give her my love.
You used she because it’s the subject and her because it’s the object.
Very good. Here’s the list of all the personal pronouns and possessive adjectives:
|Subject pronoun||Object pronoun||Possessive adjective||Possessive pronoun|
We use pronouns to avoid repetition when it is obvious what we are talking about.
Is this your bike? > No, that one’s mine. (= my bike)
Those red gloves are yours; the blue ones are hers. (= her gloves)
Can I use two pronouns together?
Yes, for example:
The man in the shop gave me them free.
So, what do I need to be careful about?
Well, sometimes we use me when it might seem logical to use I. We also use it sometimes to refer to people.
I love house music > I do too / Me too.
Who’s that? > Me. / It’s me. / It’s Fran.
Sometimes we use they instead of he or she, them instead of him or her and their instead of his or hers.
When you meet your new teacher, they will give you the books.
If anyone asks where I am, tell them I’m in Istanbul this week.
Someone left their gloves in the classroom.
I thought someone was singular.
Yes, you’re right, but nowadays we avoid using he for people in general, and he or she is very long, so we use they instead, especially when we’re speaking.
Can you also say:
“The English cricket team lost again. They were rubbish.”?
Yes. We sometimes use they for single nouns which refer to groups of people.
What about animals?
We usually use it/they for animals, but when people are talking about their own pets, they use he or she.
The dog must be thirsty. Give him some water.
Yes, one thinks that animals are just like people, doesn’t one?
Ah, we don’t use one to mean everyone very much. It sounds very old-fashioned and too formal. We use you to mean people in general.
You can see the sea from the top of that mountain. (you = people in general)
But the Queen uses one?
That's true. But, I haven’t met the Queen and you should use you!